Omniprom Report on the Mexican Book Industry

In Global Trade Talk by Edward Nawotka

MexicoMarcelino Elosua, President of LID Editorial Empresarial, directed and published a report on the Mexican Publishing Industry released during the recent Guadalajara International Book Fair.

The report focused on trends in publishing, distribution, book selling, and reading.

While 229 publishers are active in Mexico, only 12 are considered large publishers with more than 200 million pesos (US$15.7 million) in sales per year.

Textbooks are responsible for 48% of sales, general interest accounts for (34%), science and technology (14%), and religious books (3%). Significant challenges to the industry include the lack of readers (besides textbooks, the average number of books read per year per person is 0.5); the fact that the Mexican government is itself, in one way or another, is responsible for about 60% of the books published per year in Mexico; and pirating and illegal photocopying, responsible for about 10 million copies per year.

The report concluded that both printed books and e-books will survive, but the market share of e-books will rise over time.

In Mexico, where approximately half of the market is for textbooks, it’s still uncertain how soon digital textbooks will take over.

The report also stated that

(a) E-book devices in black and white, and without sound, will not last more than a year.

(b) E-book pricing will be near the price of print, although slightly lower as a result of increased competition among publishers and retailers and the need for lower margins.

(c) New, creative publishers will emerge that blur the line between audiovisual producers and traditional publishing.

(d) Digital books will incorporate not only text and images but sound and color, and will be interactive, expandable, and updatable.

(e) Ultimately, “platform,” such as mobile phone operators and internet service providers will win out over virtual libraries.

The report includes a helpful section of the major players in Mexican publishing.

The Omniprom report is available free on Omniprom’s web site (Spanish-language only).

Also available:

Prospects for the Publishing Sector in Latin America: The Future of the Book to 2020 (Estudio prospectivo del sector editorial de Latinoamérica: El futuro del libro en el horizonte del año 2020)

Published by CERLALC (Regional Center for the Promotion of the Book in Latin America and the Caribbean). Spanish-language only.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.